The plan of the new administration: More masks and vaccines

Biden adviser sees local answers to boosting mask use, speeding up vaccinations.

NPR ,

Joe Biden vaccinated
Joe Biden vaccinated
Reuters

The night before their inauguration, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stood near the Lincoln Memorial and marked more than 400,000 people killed by the coronavirus. Today, the Biden administration takes responsibility for fighting the pandemic.

But for two of the biggest obstacles to curbing the pandemic - getting more people to wear masks and speeding up millions of COVID-19 vaccinations - the answer won't just come from federal leaders, an adviser to President Biden said.

The solutions will also be found locally around the country, said Dr. Celine Gounder, a clinical assistant professor at New York University and a member of Biden's COVID-19 advisory board.

To encourage mask use, Gounder said in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, "I think you really need to draw upon people at the local level. It might be people's family doctors, or it could be the local police chief or the school superintendent or a faith leader. "

And to meet Biden's goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, she said, "We've got to massively increase the number of places where people can access vaccines." That includes working with local pharmacies, "standing up huge mass vaccination centers" and deploying mobile vaccine units in rural areas, she said.



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